NCAAB Odds: Close Contest Expected When Cincinnati Travels To Iowa State

iowa state basketball

Thursday, December 1, 2016 2:06 PM GMT

December is here, and it begins on the NCAA basketball betting board with an interconference tussle at Iowa State between the No. 19 Cyclones of the Big 12 and the Cincinnati Bearcats of the AAC.

In another week or so, we'll start to get into some dead time on the NCAA basketball schedule. So let's enjoy this while we can with a juicy Thursday matchup in America's heartland between the Bearcats and Cyclones. My season record thus far is 9-10 (-2.00 units).

Hilton Coliseum in Ames is the site for this battle between teams eventually bound for the NCAA Tournament. It will be shown on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET. The overnight line at BetOnline began with Iowa State giving up 5, a spread that has been pushed to 5½ with 141 for the scoreboard hurdle.

This collision between the AAC and Big 12 does have a little bit of history, including a matchup last year in the first of a home-and-home agreement. The schools met in Cincinnati just before the Christmas break, and it was the Cyclones who came away with the mild 81-79 upset as 5-point underdogs. They previously met at the 2012 Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas, the Bearcats covering a 78-70 triumph. Thursday is the first time the teams have met in Ames. Cincinnati owns a 3-2 all-time series advantage.

'Under' A Winning Wager In Cincy Games

Mick Cronin's crew is taking a step up in competition for its first trip to a hostile gym. Cincinnati doesn't really have anything to be ashamed of so far with its only loss coming to a good Rhode Island team on a neutral floor last week in Connecticut. The Bearcats got in a good workout a few days later vs. Lipscomb, a game that never made it to the NCAA basketball odds card, marking a season-high on offense with 91 points.

Offense has been an issue, but play on the other end has been pretty solid. Cincinnati ranks 12th nationally in fewest points allowed (59.2), a good reason why 4-of-5 lined games never made it to the totals.

Cyclones 2nd Nationally In Rebounding

Iowa State is coming home after suffering its first loss of the season, a 73-71 setback in the AdvoCare Invitational Championship to Gonzaga on Sunday. The Cyclones battled back after the Bulldogs shot lights out in the first half, with Deonte Burton's big game helping their backers cash with +4½ tickets.

Any offense averaging 89 points per game will get the glory, that clip good enough for 10th-highest so far. But it's actually been the rebounding that has gotten the job done. Iowa State is second overall in glass work and among the leaders in getting second chances on offense.

Neither team may be at full strength for this one. Cincinnati's Gary Clark is questionable after injuring his ankle early in the win over Lipscomb. Iowa State will be without Solomon Young as the freshman forward is expected to miss most of December with a hand injury. In addition, Simeon Carter's status is up in the air. Steve Prohm was expected to lift the sophomore's suspension this past weekend, but Carter remained on the bench throughout the AdvoCare contests.

I'm expecting a tight matchup, making the underdog Bearcats a tempting free NCAA basketball pick. I'm also expecting some good defense on both sides, which is why my play will be on the 'under.'

NCAAB Free Pick: 'Under' 141

Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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